*I received a free code for this audiobook, with thanks to the authors. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: Julie and Juan’s cyber assassin technology services team or CATS find themselves immersed in outrageous cyber-crime events in multiple locations. They send their feet-on-the-street teams to investigate the causes of the mayhem. Unexpectedly, they find the culprits are holding international cities, big businesses, air traffic, and even emergency systems hostage to terrifying digital ransom demands.
Has today’s technology advanced enough so that the line between the real and cyber worlds has vanished? Will this unchecked digital landscape provide new social predators with opportunities to unleash terror and pain on unsuspecting victims, while avoiding detection?
The CATS Team is the next generation of hunters in the cat and mouse game of cyber warfare, unlike any seen to date. How can they prove that the evolution of 21st century video game playing is far more serious than an after school distraction for kids? With supercomputers, the adage ‘bigger toys for bigger boys’ takes on a whole new definition.
As members of the CATS Team – George, Ty, Ernesto, Mercedes, EZ, and even Juan – investigate their respective assignments, they find they are undermined by the willingness of organizations to simply pay cyber-ransom demands. The tampering with automated processes, driven by today’s explosion of technology use, is child’s play compared to the heavy competitive nature of The Gamers with their Supercomputer resources.
Award-winning authors, Breakfield and Burkey, take their fans into this grittier story of The Enigma series to explore virtual hacking within our technology dependent world. In book 7 of the series, The Enigma Gamers, The CATS Team, led by Julie and Juan, is committed to avenging and administering justice to evil doers in every corner of the real and virtual worlds.
The Enigma Gamers is Book 7 in this cyber-thriller series. Whilst this story can stand alone, I did feel that I would have benefited from following the series from the beginning as there is clearly a lot of backstory to the CATS team and its cast of characters.
The story follows a couple of high-ranking foreign officials as they play high-stakes games with people, businesses and cities, gambling money and lives on the outcomes. All of the action comes from the complex technological systems and cyber cat-and-mouse hunts, so fans of gaming and cyber-crime fiction will be in their element here.
It is clear that the authors really know their stuff in this field and their expertise shines through on every page, as Julie and her specialist team chase criminals along the information highways and byways. It’s truly terrifying just how plausible the attacks are and the devastation that can be wreaked from a distance using modern technology. There are also some fascinating points raised and explored around technology replacing humans in various scenarios and the pros and cons that can arise as a result.
My main difficulty here was getting to grips with the characters, as it felt that they were quickly-sketched cyphers rather than fully-developed individuals, and I suspect that this is more of an issue with me starting mid-series when the characters and their relationships are already introduced, developed and advanced. On this basis, I would strongly recommend starting with an earlier book in the series.
In addition to reading the ebook version of this book, I also listened to it as an audiobook and really enjoyed Derek Shoales’ clear and steady narration. He created distinct voices for the different characters, making it easier to tell them apart, and his measured pacing helped me to keep up with the fast-moving plot.
Readers (or listeners) looking for an exciting cyber-crime series will enjoy the Enigma Series. Unfortunately I just didn’t quite connect with this story.
Since time immemorial human beings have gambled things of value on the outcome of pending events. This desire to play and compete with a bet on the outcome of some event has followed us to the present day. Here in the 21st century it has become a digital activity and has earned the common designation gamification. It is suggested that this is a harmless quest to collect points and also use it in an easy way for people to learn. However, like everything on the digital landscape now becoming the Internet of Things, machines can now interact with machines to the misery of us all. Not everything that results from the gamification of our digital world is always to our benefit.
– Breakfield & Burkey, The Enigma Gamers